Port worker offended by noose

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A noose can conjure up many images. For some it can even be considered offensive, especially if it's hanging in the work place.

"You know every day I go to work. I see it every day and it's real offensive to me," said Darrell Henderson.

Henderson was hired on at the docks late last year at the Port of Lake Charles. He works in the pallet shop and takes issue with a noose hanging in foreman David Veillon's office.

"After about two weeks being there, I went into his office and talked to him about it. I asked him to take it down and that I find it offensive. And he told me if I didn't like it to stay out of his office," said Henderson.

54-year-old Henderson says it was like a slap in the face. For him the noose represents an ugly time in our nation's history not so long ago.

"It brought back memories of when my dad and mom first got married when they were young. My dad and my mom was driving down the highway and my dad is dark complexioned and my mom is a light complexioned Creole. And these white guys in a truck pulled them over and asked him what he was doing with this white woman and they was fixing to hang my dad," said Henderson.

Henderson says others on the job are also offended by the noose, but didn't want to speak up.

"They say man leave that alone... Don't worry about that, you are not Martin Luther King - that noose will come down... You just do your job," said Henderson. "I just decided to step out on faith and speak out about it because it's not right. Not right at all."

It took us making several phone calls, but the noose did come down. The terminal is operated by the Lake Charles Stevedores. Management tells 7 News they're very disappointed and will not tolerate this. They say the noose was taken down immediately.

They say according to Veillon - he had one of the pallet shop laborers put the noose in his office after it was discovered in the work place. The employee hung it in the pallet shop office. Veillon said he overlooked disposing the noose and doesn't recall being asked to take it down.

Again, The Lake Charles Stevedore condemned the displaying of the noose and say this is not a reflection of their company and they are still looking into the matter.

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